Generally I plan a trip long before its departure time and spend a lot of time to do the homework about it! But this trip is sort of in a rush. I spent just about two nights to book plane tickets and hostel beds. Now I am in Miami.
On skiplagged.com, I found the flight from Fort Lauderdale to Toronto. Through kayak.com/buzz, I found the flight from Toronto to Fort Lauderdale. It is Sunwing’s flight. I went to Sunwing’s official website. I booked from there.
I booked a bed in female dormitory for 5 nights in HI Miami Beach hostel. The sixth night rate is too high there, so I just booked it today, two days before it. In another hostel in Fort Lauderdale. It’s all on booking.com.
I don’t like to deal with human agencies generouly. I like to use websites with good reputation. I like DIY. It is a joy of the trip. I don’t like a human agent take it from me and even ruin my good mood for a trip. It also can improve my skills and ability for independency. With such ability, I feel that the world is bigger, more spacious around me. Human agencies are good for the people who don’t like to spend time to dig on the internet.
Now I am in Miami for the 4th day, so far so good. Every trip can help me learn, experience some new things, and every trip improves my skills to keep a sunny mood.
Before I came, I didn’t expect the trip so enjoyable. And Miami is beyond my imagine. I have been to Hawaii. There are beaches there. But here along the sealine, all are continuous beaches. I have spent one day to walk along the beach from south to north and gave up at the top of middle beach. Today, I took trolley to north beach.
Compared with south beach, north beach is much less commercial. On south beach, a lot of handsome guys and beautiful ladies. On north beach, there are a lot of local people. Middle beach is ok. It is less wide and there are big rocks in about two spots.
Along the north beach, there is a public park. There are benches, tables and restrooms. There are running water close to a few beach entrances within tolerable distance along the beach. There are lifeguards along the beach.
Miami Beach is sort of like island. I have been exploring this island since I came here except one-day tour to key west yesterday.
There are free trolley driving around the island, but remember to wave to the driver otherwise he/she can ignore you and just pass by. By the way, no cup drinks on the trolley. And you can rent a bicycle using credit card. You also can rent a car, or use public transportation – $2.25 for one way I think，no changes if you pay more.
It is a beautiful island: sea, beach, seagull, palm trees, happy and friendly people. It looks like they know you want a happy, relax holiday and they do their part to let you enjoy it here. Even you go to a supermarket, the shop assistant will say ‘ Happy New Year ‘ to you. For them, more tourists, better economic. Win-win.
I went to downtow today and took a few photos. I took Metromover for sightseeing around the city. Free ride too.
Not many people go to see sunrise on the beach. I and two other tourists standing on lifeguards port waited for the sunrise. Very cloudy on the east close to the sealevel. Even though the sun had risen above the sea but we still couldn’t see it. A lot of seagulls flied in the morning breeze. The workers started to work on the beach preparing for the coming tourists. It would be crowded later. After a few minutes, the Sun showed up from the cloud. It’s amazing.
Here are sunrise photos:
Later I went to Fort Lauderdale by bus. It is a long way, and took more than two hours and has two changes. I like riding the buses. It is a joy of my trip. It’s almost the only chance to contact local people and see their life style, instead of just taxi drivers or other tourists.
On the bus stop, the “S” bus came, but the driver adviced me to take the No. 120 bus behind it. He said that bus is fast. That 120 bus really shows “Limit Stops”. I got on that bus. Later on, a family of four got on the bus too. After a while, the bus made a left turn to a big parking lot, and the driver told us it was the last stop. Anyway, he told us to go through an underground tounel, get out from another side of the road, turn left and walk to the bus stop waiting for the “S” bus. It’s the morning. I am not nervous. And the bus fare is just $2 or $2.25 – in Miami-dade county is $2.25. Others is $2, I think. And I have enough time for exceptions. After a few minutes, the “S” bus came. That family got on first. When it was my turn to make the payment, the driver stopped me saying that I took the wrong bus and handed me a in-county transfer. I was confused, but he told me to go ahead and take a seat. Why did he know I took a wrong bus? I sat there still confusing? because I was at the bus stop that seems from nowhere? … … In the middle of the way, I reminded that the driver is just the one who told me to take that No. 120 bus. Haha. I watch them. They also watch me. Like that saying, you look the sightseeing and you are also the part of sightseeing from the other people’s view.
On the way, I saw “Trump Tower”. It reminded me that in that republic candidate debate, Jeb Bush said Donald Trump wanted to build a casino in Florida but they refused him. Sort of feel that the history is happening just around me.
I got a warm welcome in the hostel. The hostel rates more than 80% by clients. It’s the most important factor for me to consider except price. And I signed a list to waive the owner’s responsibility for exceptions.
Yesterday I went to Fort Lauderdale from Miami. I will fly to Toronto from there. The flight ticket are much cheaper here compared to Miami. The hostel I stayed is quite close to the beach. There is a nice swiming pool in the middle of the yard with tables, chairs etc. on two sides of it. It has a lounge room connected to a kitchen. In the hostel lounge room, I watched some of Harry Potter movie. I am still not a fun of it. I hoped I could see the character that Robert Pattinson played but no luck. All the people in our room were leaving today. Maybe they all come here for cheap flight tickets too.
It’s quite cool and windy yesterday. By the way, Fort Lauderdale also has beautiful beaches with much less people. I wonder if the beaches are continous from South end of Miami Beach to Fort Lauderdale. I feel that along the Florida sealine are all continous beaches.
One-day trip to Key West.
On the 3rd day in Miami, I went to Key West. I booked the tour at the front desk of the hostel. It is $55 in total. $20 for deposit. $35 for the driver. I guess that that $20 will be divided by the hostel and the front desk acceptionist. $35 is for the driver’s company. A group of tourists are a good source for benefit. Just like if you are able to attract more people to somewhere, business opportunities comes too.
Key West is more than 300 miles to Miami and less than 100 miles to Cuba. It took more than 3 hours by bus. They are a line of islands and man-made bridges connect them. Miami includes many islands like Miami Beach and they are connected by bridges too.
I plan to see Ernest Hemingway residence, Southernmost point and Wreck ship museum. On Key West, there are a lot of bars. People enjoy alcohol and music there. You can take trolley or rent a bicycle. I am just by feet.
On the way, there is a stand selling coconuts and other juices. The hawker drilled a hole with a drilling machine on coconuts and put a straw in it. $5 for one coconut. When it was my turn, I gave him $5, he drilled a green one for me. I took it and prepared to leave. He stopped me and drilled a yellow one and handed it to me. “It’s two?” I was surprised, “It is too much.” He gentlely pushed two coconuts towards me and made them shoulder by shoulder on my hands with a bit weird tone: “Merry Christmas”. I took two coconuts like a man with a big appitite. Later on, I found that green one has no juice. He noticed it. Haha. It is the first time I drank the juice from a real coconut. It is a funny experience.
It reminds me that long time ago, one of my two roommates got one coconut, I am not sure which one bought it. One roommate didn’t like me because I didn’t flatter her and agreed on her speeches about others. She found a way that they shared it without me. I really don’t mind. I saw coconuts in supermarkets many times but I didn’t even want to buy one. This is my character. I have my principles. Not everyone like me, but there are still billions of other people in the world. If I just spent time and thoughts, bent my principle to hurt others who didn’t offend me to please her, my life is better now? In this way, I wouldn’t have time to please myself: make efforts to realize my dream. She could make my life a bit tough at that time at that room, but the outside world is bigger enough for me to enjoy my life. I am glad that I didn’t waste time to care about such things too much.
In the southernmost point, a lot of people were lined up to take a photo with that mark. Also in Ernest Hemingway residence. I took a picture from its side gate of the yard. And luckily a lovely six-toe cat showed up and greeted me. It must belong to Ernest Hemingway residence. I patted its head and it walked away.
The wreck ship museum is historic. It should be enjoyable for the people who are interested in history. For example, in the stock market, there was depression long time ago, people were waiting for a ship carrying valuable goods to come eagerly and hopeful it could help the market. They put so much hope on it. But unfortunately, it sank near Key West. Many many years later, its parts rescued from the sea are in the museum in front of you.
Key West is the front line of America, especially during war. People can see historic marks everywhere, especially cuba missile crisis, and the history between cuba and America.
Happy New Year!
I was in Floria yesterday morning. Now I am in Toronto. It was windy with snow on my way home yesterday. I feel that the trip is like a dream or happened in another life. Just the bites of insects on my body reminds me that it is real and happened recently.